When are You Required to Record Telephone Conversations?

Summary

A short but critical list of circumstances under which state and federal law requires you to record telephone conversations between your employees and consumers.

Article

Although it is almost always a good business practice to record telephone conversations between your employees and consumers, state and federal law generally do not require that you do so except in limited circumstances.

Obviously, if you do record for quality control, security, compliance or contractual reasons, you must comply with state and federal law which requires disclosure of that monitoring in certain circumstances.

Absent a contractual restriction, however, you are not required to record conversations by telemarketing laws except in three circumstances:

  1. When you are required by anti-slamming rules to show consumer authorization of change of provider (utility or telephone services). This is usually called TPV or third party verification.
  2. When the recorded conversation must be used to show express consent for Telemarketing Sales Rule purposes (e.g. supporting a direct debit on a consumer account).
  3. When pre-acquired account information is used and there is a free-to-pay offer (this is also a Telemarketing Sales Rule restriction).

Other industry specific law could require recording, e.g. securities laws, but the three above are the only times telemarketing law requires recording.

It cannot be overemphasized, however, that if you do record, you need to comply with state and federal wiretapping laws which can require disclosure of the recording in some states. These same laws can require disclosure of monitoring for any form of interception such as listening in on another headset, or reviewing text chat logs.